Thursday, August 31, 2006

Meerkat update

The meerkat is a member of the mongoose family. I stand corrected.

Another day

We've almost survived another week. Tomorrow is FRIDAY! I don't look forward to the weekends as much as I used to. Lilli and I are getting into such a routine during the week that the weekends seem like a P-I-T-A. (That was for you Angela!) The only nice thing about the weekend is that we usually have lots going on and get to spend time with the fam.

I took Lilli and had her picture taken today. She was dressed in her ice cream dress (thanks Angela!) and then we had her picture taken in a traditional Chinese outfit. Of course I went overboard with purchasing the pics. Lilli was such a wiggle-worm that I wasn't sure any of the photos would turn out. They were great, however, and I should have plenty to give to the fam.

Tomorrow we have her 1-month evaluation at the pediatrician's office. I wonder how painful this visit will be for her? Her bloodwork last month showed that she was anemic. We've been working hard on this one so hopefully it has resolved itself. I don't really know much about anemia.

Nothing much else to report. We are still working on the bed vs. crib issue. The longest she will sleep in her crib is about 2 hours. Sometimes I can rock her back to sleep and she will sleep for another hour or so but that is about it. I'm sure this will resolve in time so I'm not super worried. Each night gets a little easier and better. If she is sound asleep she will lay down in her crib with no problem. Our problem is that she doesn't stay asleep and she can't self-soothe. We have tried blankets, pacifiers, stuffed animals, what ever you can think of. This may still be a bonding thing. From time to time she will self-soothe with a blanket while in the crib. Most times, though, she wakes up screaming.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New pics of the Lilliputian

Here are some new photos of Lilli. She is quite a ham! The top photo is from last night at the ice cream shop. She thought she was big stuff because she was drinking water from a cup. Of cours she spilled it all over herself! People must have thought we were strange snapping pics while eating ice cream!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The importance of routine . . .

Post #102--still waiting for my prize . . .

We have had a very busy weekend. Poor Lilli is all screwed up. She missed her regularly scheduled nap today and when she finally did fall asleep, I had to wake her up about an hour and a half into it. She was NOT a happy camper. So I've made a decision that the hours between 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. are sacred hours. We shall call them our Chinese Siesta hours. Anyway, she desperately needs to have that rest during those hours or she is a bear! We have done so much running around this weekend and it has definitely taken its toll on her. I just spent 55 minutes trying to get her to sleep. We had whittled bedtime down to about 15 minutes. Thank goodness we don't have much going on this week. This next weekend will be busy, but we have all week to get ready for it!

I just found out that my brother Michael and his wifey Laura are coming home this weekend. I'm very excited! My mom's family has a huge reunion every Labor Day weekend and she is hosting this year. It is actually my grandmother's family and she had 11 brothers and sisters. Only 4 are still alive now (I think)but all of their kids, grandkids, great-grandkids come to the reunion. I can't remember a time in my life when we did not have this reunion. It has always been something I look forward to every year. I can't wait to show Lilli off to everyone. So many people are looking forward to meeting her.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fun day

Today has been a fun day. Our plan for free time this morning worked quite well and all family members were content. There is no better way to start the day than with everybody happy. Todd was able to spend some alone time with Lilli and I got to go to Jazzercise. I needed it desperately. My body aches when I don't get enough exercise.

Anyway, we went to a birthday party today for my twin nephews. Lilli had a ball playing with all of the other kids. There were probably 10 kids under the age of 3 and she just fell into playing. She does OK with other kids but she is usually the aggressor. I have to really watch her or she will scratch and/or hit the other kids. I worry about this behavior and I wonder how long she spent in the orphanage after she was matched. Where else would she have picked up those behaviors? Todd and I think that as soon as we were matched they took Lilli from her foster mother and placed her in the orphanage. All of the photos we got back from the care package were of her at the orphanage. I'm guessing she had to defend herself somewhere along the lines. If I'm correct, the hitting and scratching are learned behaviors, not innate behaviors. We'll just have to keep working with her on it. She has scratched Todd and my mil hard enough to leave marks. Eek. Could be her age?

Tonight, my sil Angela and I had a chick night. We took our girls and went out to eat and then went to Target. WE LOVE TARGET!!!! I bought Lilli a Halloween t-shirt in an 18 mos. I was excited to be buying bigger clothes. She is so tiny! While we were in Target, we ran into another couple that had adopted from China. Their little girl's name was Emma and was she a cutie! We talked for awhile in the clothing department. It was cool. They are starting the paperchase for #2. They have had their little girl since April and she just turned 2. I can't wait until we have had Lilli for that long just so I can see how far she has progressed.

Well, I'm going to try and clean the downstairs of the house. My house looks like a junkyard and I CAN'T stand it. Will my house ever be clean again?

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Mommy Blues

This is my 100th post. I should get a prize or something.

Tonight I am really feeling the pressures of not having the freedom I used to have. Todd and I are having some scheduling conflicts for tomorrow morning and next week. There are things I want to do with my Saturday morning and things that he wants to do with his Saturday morning. Unfortunately we are not on the same page and we are going to have to compromise. I think we handled it well and I didn't shed a tear. (Some of you might find it very hard to believe that I cry very easily; especially when I get mad or frustrated.) Being a parent requires a lot of give and take and tonight I feel like all I do is give. I was able to help Todd see my side of the situation and we came to an understanding about free time. We've got a good plan for the morning; we'll see how well it works out.

We became zoo members today. I went to the zoo with my sil, Brinda and a friend of hers. We had a nice time and there was practically nobody there! We got in to exhibits very quickly! I got some awesome pics of the pygmy hippos (my favorite) and I even got to feed a giraffe. It was great! The gorillas were playful this morning and we got to watch the meerkats in action. We had a debate about which family the meerkat belongs to: is it a cat or a rodent? I'm voting rodent. On the placard next to the meerkat exhibit it said that the meerkat digs like "other ground squirrels." I do believe that squirrels belong to the rodent family and thus concluded that the meerkat is indeed a rodent. I'll have to get back with you on that one! Anyway, Lilli enjoyed the zoo almost as much as I did. She loves being outside and around lots of people.

We ate lunch at the Mac Shac again (sorry Robin and Eric). Lilli had a fish sandwich, her first! She must have liked it because she ate almost the entire sandwich. Of course, she ate her fries! I've learned not to order her an actual meal because most of it goes to waste. I let her share my food which is cheaper and less wasteful--I'm so smart! HA!

We have a very busy weekend ahead of us. There are several birthday parties that we must attend, the KY state fair is still going on and Art in Speed Park is this weekend. I'm thinking about skipping one of the birthday parties and going to the art show with my mom. I really need some "me" time and I am missing my creative, artsy side. I attempted to be artsy with Lilli tonight. I put her in her high chair with just a diaper and plastic bib. I have some wooden letters that need to be painted for her room and I thought she could help me. So, I put some paint in a little bowl and gave her a letter. She's such a mockingbird so I showed her what to do. Guess what she did? Her finger went into the paint and straight into her mouth! Then she threw the letter and got paint on the floor. So much for that good idea. I gave her some animal crackers and was able to paint two or three letters before she got bored. I thought it was a good plan! Oh well. At least the paint was non-toxic!

The munchkin did something extremely cute in the car today. When her food is too hot for her to eat, I do what every parent does and blow on it. Soon after we got her, she started blowing on her food, too. We think it is so cute. After the zoo I put her in the car and said, "Woo, it's hot!" She looks at me and starts blowing like she does with her hot food! I thought it was just a fluke but she did it after lunch as well! Too cute!

I also think she is recognizing pics of animals. I was reading a book to her tonight called Moo, Baa, La, La, La. It goes through different animals and the sounds they make. One of the pages has dogs and she looks at the picture, points to the dog, and then barks. She mimics our dogs when they bark. Again, I thought it was a fluke, but when I read the book again she did the same thing.

I'm going to end now because I am really jonesin' for a real Coke. I have some C2 in the basement which just might do the trick! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New experiences

We took Lilli to the zoo on Saturday with her Godparents and their children. She absolutely LOVED it! She really likes animals, especially big animals. We also discovered that she likes fish and fish tanks. I think we may have to get her a one. Yesterday we took her to the Kentucky State Fair. The cows were her favorite. She mimics the dogs when they bark and she barked at every animal we saw at the fair. The sheep were baa-ing at her and she was barking at them. It was quite a sight to see!

Things are going very well here. She is becoming more confident with us and herself and her surroundings. She is amazing to watch. She is blossoming into this wonderful little girl with the cutest personality (I'm not biased). One of my travelmates made the statement that she can't believe how in love she is with her daughter. I feel the same way. Everyday I love and enjoy her more than the day before. She is constantly amazing me.

I must take a moment to sing the praises of Todd. He has done such a wonderful job of taking on the role of "daddy". Being a dad isn't easy for Todd. Daily, he is rejected by Lilli, but he continues loving her and coming back for more. Every day gets a little better for those two. Where Todd really does a great job is by helping me. He has become a super handyman around the house. Anything I want done or anything I need, he is ready and willing. I have appreciated him so much since we've been home because there have been times when I wasn't sure I could take it anymore. He has taken the baby from me more than once and "put on his clown suit" (as he says) to entertain her while I took a break. I'm a lucky lady.

OK, I'm done being a sap for the day.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why buy toys?

We already had remote controls and portable phones! I don't think Lilli cares anything for the toys she has. Tonight, for example, I was washing dishes and she usually wants to be right in the thick of the action. I gave her some junk mail to play with and she happily played for a long time while I finished the dishes. It's crazy. I was assured today, however, that this behavior is very normal. Thank goodness, I was beginning to wonder if we got the weird kid!

So, my blog is probably getting boring. I think the shell-shock of being a new mom is beginning to wear off and it shows in my posts. Things are just not phasing me as much anymore. I intend to keep writing, but I may have to go longer stretches to come up with good material!

We brushed our teeth for the first time tonight. She wasn't too thrilled at first (she screamed) and then I showed her how to do it. Being the mockingbird that she is, she took the toothbrush and tried to do it herself. We're going to have to work on that one. Eventually she just started eating the toothpaste. It was berry flavored, and personally, I thought it was disgusting. Whatever it takes to get her to brush her teeth!

We went in to school today. I surprised my team by showing up for our weekly team meeting. It was great to see everybody and I got misty seeing all of my peeps. My former students were tickled to see me there with Lilli. It was a fun morning. Of course, Lilli was a ham as usual. She does great with a crowd of people but I think there were times today when she was a bit overwhelmed. Heck, I was overwhelmed. The kids wanted to give me hugs and talk. It kind of felt like I was being stalked by the paparazzi. I started ducking down hallways that were empty just to avoid being seen!

Well, I'm done for the night.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Milk and cottage cheese

I finally got Lilli to drink some milk. It took an Oreo cookie. I'm not too proud. She ate a bit of an Oreo and then took a sip of milk--that's my girl. This morning I caught her trying to dunk her Nutri-Grain bar into her grape juice. What a mockingbird! I guess she saw me dunk my Oreo into the milk!

At lunch yesterday she tried cottage cheese. I had some with my salad and thought I would let her try it. She really liked it and I ended up having to get her a bowl. She ate most of it. I was really hoping that it contained some iron to help with the anemia, but no dice Chicago. I was a bit surprised.

Today wasn't one of my better mommy days. Lilli was driving me insane! All I wanted to do was fold the laundry. All she wanted to do was destroy my nice neat piles of undies and t-shirts. Nothing I did could divert her attention away from my task. I kept going over to her massive box of toys, but they didn't seem to interest her. She kept diving right back into my clean basket of clothes. I ended up letting her play with the washcloths just so I could finish the rest of the laundry.

Then, I am in the kitchen attempting to fix lunch and she is throwing her Leap Frog magnets everywhere! I kept tripping over them to the tune of "A, B, C". I think the batteries to that toy are going to mysteriously disappear!

And, I was in the bathroom cleaning and Lilli was rummaging through my drawer of hair doo-dads. She pulled out my hair brush and began pretending that she was combing her hair. How cute, I thought. I turned back around to finish my cleaning and the next thing I know I'm retrieving my hair brush from the toilet. Apparently she watched me clean the toilet and decided that she would take a turn as well. Ugh--when will my sanity return!

Needless to say, my patience was wearing quite thin. On top of the "daughter trials" I have injured my neck and upper back and am not feeling 100%. I did my best but I don't think I was as patient with Lilli as I should have been today. Again, I'm reminded of a famous phrase from a movie: same movie, same phrase: " . . .tomorrow is another day!" Until then.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tomorrow . . .

It will be four weeks since Lilli has been in our lives. FOUR WEEKS! It is hard to believe that that much time has elapsed. We wonder what we did with our lives before she came along!

We had our first "date" today. My mom called and offered to come and stay with Lilli while she napped so we could get out of the house for awhile. I was extremely conflicted about leaving her because I wasn't sure she was ready for a babysitter. I know we are going to have to leave her sooner or later, but we've only been home two weeks! I was afraid that leaving her would some how mess up the bonding process. The enticement of the outside world was too much and I decided that a couple of hours out would do us both some good. My mom raised three kids successfully and I was sure she could handle whatever the spicy dragon threw her way. So, we headed out for our "hot" date. We ended up going to the new Smith's furniture store (we aren't even in the market for furniture), to Target including Starbucks, and finally to the grocery store. We topped off our date with a romantic Wendy's lunch from the drive-thru. Yeah, we're crazy like that. All kidding aside, it was super-excellent getting away for even two hours. When we got home Lilli was SO excited to see us and she wouldn't let me out of her sight for several minutes.

I think Lilli has some serious teething issues. She has this constant flow of drool coming out of her mouth. I really think it would be more comfy for her if she wore a bib at all times. Wet clothing can be irritating. Tonight ended up being a Tylenol night. It was just too much. She was very cranky and had two BM's within two hours so I think she had the right to be cranky. After I gave her the Tylenol and she had the second BM, she was a happy baby! I hated having to put her to bed but it was time. We gotta get into a routine.

Well, I'm not feeling like a good writer this evening and I really want to go read my book so until next time!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Smiling, happy baby

The Lilliputian has been a total goofball today! She is laughing, singing, smiling, and playing. I REALLY like this baby! She has been cracking me up all day. We did have a small fit this morning but it was over soon. She let me pick her up and rock her through it so I feel like that is progress! I know it won't happen every time but it was nice to end the tantrum peacefully. After I rocked her for awhile she wanted to snuggle for about an hour and half. I was ready to go run errands but she had other plans. I think this is what people mean when they say "remain flexible" when you have kids. Things don't always go as you planned. It really is like having a mini-dictator (a very cute one, however!)

Since Todd has gone back to work, Lilli has regressed with him. She doesn't want much to do with him again and freaks out if I am not in sight. I know it is killing him to see her regress. I just wish he could take her for a walk or go to the park with her. She really can be a lot of fun and quite snuggly. On the selfish side of this scenario, it would be nice to have a few minutes of "me" time. Welcome to motherhood, right?!

I know this will all work out in time. I'm just a child of the instant gratification club. I want things to go perfectly RIGHT NOW! Like Scarlet O'Hara said, ". . . tomorrow is another day!" I know, very cheesy . . .

Quiet Night

I get up in the middle of the night quite frequently and tonight I couldn't get back to sleep. We had a good day today even after the night screams. We didn't go anywhere today and I think that allowed her time to decompress. We have been running errands in the morning and taking it easy in the afternoon. Lilli is quite a little trooper when it comes to riding around in the car, shopping cart, or stroller. As long as you're moving, she's happy.

The grandparents are starting to become a familiar site for Lilli. My mother came over twice yesterday and it isn't like we live next door to each other. I swear, this kid has Christmas every day. She gets something new almost daily and we have a constant flow of people coming to our door. Sometimes it is complete insanity! I love it though and I honestly think she does, too. In her referral it said that she liked to be in a busy place. That is definitely how I would describe our house right now!

Tonight she did the cutest thing. I was attempting to read books to her and she was somewhat paying attention. You have to be fast with the reading when you are reading to a 16-month old. I don't always get to read the written part and have to make something up. Anyway, while I was reading to her she kept looking at a doll that my sil, Melissa, sent to her. It was still in the package because I figured she was too young for it. Lilli kept touching the box and putting her fingers through an opening and touching the doll. So, I opened it. She took the doll and immediately wanted to take off its clothes. Then she took the doll in her arms and rocked it and kissed it. She handed the doll to me and wanted me to do the same. Then she sat in my lap and held her doll while I read to her. It was adorable.

Well, I should get back to bed for awhile. I'm in the computer room typing tonight (usually I'm using the laptop in the kitchen) and I am cracking up at the dogs having dreams. Too funny!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New fun for mom and dad

Last night we experienced what I can only guess were night terrors. Lilli went to bed right at 9:00 P.M. and seemed to go down fine. She is starting to understand that when it is dark outside it is time to go to bed. The last four nights have gone very well at bedtime. So, I put her in bed and she rolled over and went to sleep. No problem! At 11:30 P.M. she began screaming. I ran back upstairs to see if she was really awake and I couldn't tell. She was thrashing around in the bed and SCREAMING! It took awhile but I got her calmed down enough to stop screaming but she just couldn't get comfy. She tossed and turned and whined for about 30 minutes. Finally, I thought we were done. HA, HA, HA! At 12:50 A.M. it all started again. This time with renewed force and strength. She let me pick her up, though, and I rocked her for awhile until she calmed back down. I felt bad for Todd because he had to get up and go to work and he needed to get some sleep (I should add, however, that he was still awake and trying to help). So I took Lilli downstairs and we kicked back in the recliner for awhile--until 2:50 A.M. The cycle repeated. When I felt that she couldn't give it anymore we went back upstairs to bed and she slept until 9:30 A.M. Needless to say I'm really looking forward to nap time today!

School started today. I would be on my planning period right now if I were there. I wonder how the day is going? I went in to school for a few hours yesterday and got my syllabus together for the kids. I also left lesson plans for the first red and black day. I'd like to stay semi-active so that when I go back in November it isn't such a shock: for everyone!

Well, nothing much else to report. We are playing with puzzles this morning and talking about animals and foods. It is raining outside so we can't get outside to play or get in the pool. Hopefully, the weather will clear out today and we can get outside.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Too tired for a cute title

Hello all! I can't believe how tired I am. I knew being a parent would be tiring, but I wasn't prepared for absolutely exhausting. Today marks 3 weeks since Lilli has been in our lives. She is such a ham. Her moods change like the weather in the Ohio Valley--wait 5 minutes and something else will come along. Today we went from totally happy (giggling and cackling) to total hysterics including kicking and screaming on the floor: all within a 5 minute time span. We still have no idea what set her off this evening. She wanted NOTHING to do with anything or anybody. I tried to hold her and calm her down and she wriggled out of my arms. I was still sitting near her and she tried to push me away. Todd couldn't get her either. Finally I went back into the kitchen and just let her have her fit. She crawled in after me and continued to scream. I gave her the box of Fruity Cheerios and she was suddenly happy. I guess she was hungry. That is the only explanation I can think of but it really doesn't make any sense. She eats all the time. We gave her some Tylenol because I know she is teething, but this fit came on very suddenly. Who knows?

Lilli and I had breakfast with my peeps from NA today. They were excited to finally get to see her. I was excited to be around my gal pals again. School started today and they were celebrating the new school year. In a way I'm kind of envious. I love getting my classroom ready for the first day and meeting my new kids and getting a brand new start. It was weird to think that I was going to miss all of that this year. By the time I get back to school, the kids will have already attached to the sub and I will be the outsider. I got kind of misty at Target today when I passed by all of the "back to school" supplies at extra cheap prices. They were having a great sale on Crayola markers. The $1 Crayola marker sale is something I look forward to all summer! It is like Christmas in July for me. Todd laughs when I come home with 50 boxes of markers.

So bedtime (knock on wood) is getting easier. The last three nights she has gone to sleep without much of a fuss. I didn't even rock her last night. I put her in the communal bed and she went right to sleep. Tonight I took her upstairs and rocked her for a bit. As soon as I sat down in the rocker she laid her head on my shoulder. She has also been going down easier for naps. Today I rocked her for a bit and she went right to sleep. It's amazing what a routine can do for you!

Her latest thing is to give back affection. Whenever I pick her up she pats my arm like I am patting her back. This morning she looked up at me in bed and gave me a big, wet, open-mouthed kiss. She is also starting to be a cuddle-bug. She gives hugs and kisses freely. She is even going to Todd more and tonight got upset when he left. I feel like we are really making some progress with her.

Well, I don't have much else to say. Life has definitely changed. I am still trying to get used to everything. Someone was talking about going back for #2. Right now I'm thinking we are going to be a one-child household.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

We're walking!

Lilli is getting more confident by the minute. Yesterday she walked a few steps from the T.V. to the coffee table. Today she is walking through the kitchen and family room. She is officially walking. Her favorite mode of transportation is still crawling, but she will abandon that soon enough. Lord help us! We are such rookies with this whole baby thing!

Her latest favorite thing is testing her lungs. She screams, sings, mimics, whatever. And, she is very loud about it. We laugh. It is so funny to watch her from afar as she is singing or talking to herself. She has the funniest facial expressions.

We have all but abandoned the crib issue for the time being. Tomorrow it will be 3 weeks since we have had her. I'm going to give her until the 6-week mark and then we are going to go into full swing crib mode (hopefully). We are working on several ways we can make this transition as painless as possible.

We found another food that the wee one will eat. She will eat the heck out of corn-on-the-cob. It was the funniest thing to watch her. She took the ear and tried to bite into the end. She must have gotten some of the sweet corn in that bite and then it was all over. She ate two ears of corn. My mom called tonight to make sure it didn't upset her stomach. I'm just glad that she is eating something vegetable-like (I know--it's a starch in disguise).

Well, I must go for now. I need to put a dragon to bed and mommy needs to go to bed as well--I'm exhausted!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Afternoon snack

Lilli is currently enjoying a snack of Goldfish crackers (and belching on top of that) and grape juice. She thoroughly enjoyed her lunch today which was a Gerber's Lil Entree. It was the chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy. She ate the entire thing. Not only did she eat that, she ate half of the carrots that were included. My mil makes the best chicken and noodles dish and she always serves it with mashed potatoes. I betcha Lilli would LOVE that dish. Luckily, I have the recipe and it is so easy to make. I'm finding myself checking the labels on things to see how much iron it contains. Since finding out we have an anemic girl I guess I should be concerned.

Nap time was pretty bad today. She finally wore down and took a short nap. She did fall asleep in her stroller today while we were taking a walk so she probably slept a total of and hour and half today. I would feel better if she would sleep for another hour, but I'll take what I can get. She is a much happier child when she has adequate sleep. Heck, aren't we all happier when we have enough sleep?!

I am going to take her outside in a minute and we are going to make stepping stones. I want to have her hand print and foot print done each year so we can show her how much she has grown. I'll try to post pictures of the finished product. I can't wait to get my hands dirty! I need to make something! Well, I'm rambling.

Bathtime breakthrough!

First of all, ROBIN, she DOES try to reach her hand in the poo! Todd is becoming the "hand holder" during diaper changing time. When Todd isn't available I have to distract her with a toy so wandering hands don't go south!

We had a bathtime breakthrough this evening. Lilli sat down in the bath water by herself. When we first gave her a bath she screamed like I was jamming sticks under her toenails. Then we tried standing her in the tub; this seemed to work better. Tonight, the brave one sat in the tub and stood back up (on her own) many times and even cackled at the splashing and the toys.

Speaking of splashing, she discovered the dogs' water bowl tonight and made quite a mess of her PJ's. I guess we are going to have to relocate the dog watering station. And, speaking of dogs, she tried her first piece of dog food this evening. I'm such a rookie parent! I put food in the dogs' bowls for supper. Boomer, of course, came running like it was the last supper. Sherman, on the other hand, took his time. I had to coax him into the kitchen and when I turned back around I found Miss Lilli with a piece of dog food in her mouth and the most disgusted look on her face. Hopefully a lesson learned: for both of us!

Bedtime is rapidly deteriorating. I didn't think it could get any worse. The hardest thing about bedtime is that I'm exhausted at this point and my patience level is low. Todd had to intervene this evening. Her latest display is to thrash about in the bed. I will get her to sleep and lay down with her in the bed (don't judge) and usually she stays asleep and wants to snuggle. The last two nights she has flopped around like a fish out of water and wants nothing to do with anything touching her; she has even thrown my hands off of her. I thought maybe she wanted her space so I was fine with letting her go. Then she starts flopping around and talking. I think this is her new technique to keep awake. Last night this was my end. I laid her down in her crib and called for Todd. He's good that way and he was already on his way up the stairs as I was coming to get him. I guess he sensed that I was getting frustrated, or it could have been the tone of my voice coming through the monitor. (Think Ozzy Osbourne sings Rock-a-Bye Baby.) He finally rocked her to sleep and put her in her crib. At 12:30 A.M. she was screaming again and Todd had already gotten her out of the crib by the time I got up. She was so upset that she was standing in the crib. I took her and brought her back to the communal bed and she started the thrashing thing. So frustrating. The logical part of my brain (I know, small part) says that maybe she is wanting her own space; that maybe she is trying to convey to us that she wants her own sleeping area. My heart tells me that she is still grieving and that her behavior is one thing she can control in a world where she really has no control. Or, in a world where the control she had was taken away. I just wish there was some way (an easy way) I could convince her that she has no more worries, that she is here to stay. I am so worried that if I make the wrong move that I will forever sever her ability to attach/bond with us or anyone and that she will never feel safe again. So many things to think about!

We got Lilli's medical report today from our pediatrician. All of her bloodwork came back glowing except that she is severely anemic. I'm not surprised. We have to give her an iron supplement that tastes like poo and try to get her to eat iron-rich foods. The picky princess snubbed her nose at peaches tonight. Peaches are on the "good sources" of iron list. After reading the list of "excellent sources" of iron I'm kind of surprised that she is anemic. Most of the "excellent" sources of iron come from organ meats. I saw plenty of organ meats on the buffets in China.

It is 5:00 A.M. here. I know I should get back to bed and get a few more hours of snooze time. Todd is going back to work today. He's been itching to get back since about Monday. I'm a bit uneasy about being here alone with the little dragon. I know I'll be fine but my safety net is being taken away! Deep breaths!

I'll try to post more pics tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Good Day!

Today has been a good day. It started off rough but after a 3 hour nap we had an enjoyable rest of the day. We spent an hour in the pool (the water was ninety degrees) and spent about an hour in the tub. I actually got her to smile while in the tub. We have bunches of toys and I opened a few more for her to play with. She likes to throw the toys out of the tub and then have me throw them back in. I think she likes the splash. She discovered in the pool today that if she opens her mouth under water, she gets a drink. I don't think this is very healthy, but she was having a ball and I didn't want to ruin her fun. I also think that if she were given the opportunity, she would try to swim. She wants very little help with anything and would only let me hold her hands in the water. Really, she was floating. She doesn't kick at all so that may be a problem. I'll have to work with her on that one.

We are just now opening toys from her shower. One of our friends got this ride along dump truck thing and she absolutely LOVES it. She was tottering all over the living room with it today. It helps her walk a bit more steadily and she doesn't have to rely on us to get places. We took several pics of her laughing and enjoying her new found freedom. I think she is just days away from walking.

We found out tonight that she loves peas. We ordered pizza and she didn't want anything to do with it. I don't think she likes tomato sauce because she wouldn't eat lasagna the other day and she didn't want the pizza either. I took off the cheese and toppings and she ate the doughy part of the crust. I was afraid she didn't get enough to eat so I warmed up one of those Lil' Entrees that had a chicken and noodle dish and peas. She snubbed the chicken and noodles and dove into the peas. One of the cutest (but messiest) things she does it try to eat with utensils. She doesn't really "get" it but it is a hoot to watch. I don't mind the mess--I think it is cute.

If you're queasy at all, you may not want to continue reading. We had our first solid poo tonight! I was relieved. It also didn't smell as bad as the runny poo which is a bonus. Todd was still grossed out and has yet to change a poopy diaper (or a wet one for that matter). He truly gags whenever I change the yucky ones. Oh to be a fly on the wall when he has no alternative but to change a poopy diaper some day!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Medical report

Just wanted to let everyone know that the munchkin weighed in at a whopping 18 lbs. 15 oz. at the doc yesterday. This puts her in the 3rd percentile in weight. She is 29 inches long which puts her in the 10th percentile for heighth.

Here are some more pics. She actually isn't screaming in this picture. And yes, those are my roots you are seeing! I need some highlights!

The second picture is at home in her high chair. She loves the high chair and squeals when she sees it. She beats the tray when I put it on and waits impatiently for her food. In this pic she is eating yogurt which she refused to eat in China. My marvelous mother stocked yogurt in my fridge for our return thinking Lilli might eat it since she won't drink milk. It is obvious she is enjoying it!

Sleeping Arrangements

The picture to the left is of four of the "Spice Girls" from our travel group. From left to right is Jenna, Brenna, Hope and Lilli. Notice we all have the obligatory blue and tan stroller.

I just read two articles that said children who are adopted probably won't sleep by themselves for some time. (Now I feel like a HORRIBLE parent. Poor Lilli is probably asleep having nightmares about the lady who left her in that big room all by herself.) The articles stated that co-sleeping is a form of bonding and attachment and that eventually, when the child feels secure, she won't need us in the room with her. Both articles said that most parents put a twin bed into the nursery and sleep in the same room with the child. One of the articles (from an experienced adoptive parent) said that they allowed the child to sleep in bed with them. This is what I have been doing. I have to rock Lilli a bit and she usually snuggles in and goes to sleep. I can lay down with her and she usually only stirs but then drifts back to deep sleep. When I get up from the bed she is fine unless she wakes up. If she wakes up and she is alone, she screams. I don't know what to do. Maybe I am being too hard on myself; I mean we've only had her for 16 days. I just don't want to screw her up!

Here is the pea pod at the East Lake in Wuhan chillin'. She likes to prop her feet up whenever and where ever possible, even her high chair. One of the other babies did this a lot as well.

Frazzled, but home

Can I say it again? I am SO glad to be home. Even though things aren't going as well as I would have hoped, it is still great being home. I drove for the first time today. It was amazing! I'm still as aggressive as always--of course I was sans baby! I bet I will be more conscientious when she is in the car with me.

We are currently trying to put Lilli to sleep. This has been going on for the last 55 minutes. She fights it so hard and absolutely refuses to sleep in her crib. I am partially to blame for this because I let her sleep with me in China. The crib they supplied at the White Swan was horrible and I couldn't get her to sleep in it. Maybe she was just playing me?! So now she is screaming because we have put her in her crib. She is super sleepy and won't give in. I'm trying to convince myself that it is still a strange place for her and that it has to be scary. I feel like a bad parent because I have allowed her to sleep with us and not forced her to stay in her crib. It's pretty hard to listen to your child scream for 40 minutes. Todd is currently playing a sleep-inducing CD (it works on me) and has turned on the fan for some "white noise". We'll see. I have a feeling that as soon as he leaves the room she will start screaming again. I gave up after 30 minutes. I'm pretty much at my wits end! So, if anyone has any suggestions on how I can get this child to sleep in her crib, please let me know. I've had people weigh in on both sides of the coin in regards to sleeping with us vs. sleeping in her crib; let her cry vs. go and get her. Did I really sign up for this?

Everything else seems to have fallen apart since we got home as well. The child who could not be satisfied food-wise has now become a picky eater. We currently have about 5 foods in our repertoire: chicken, noodles, fruity cheerios, yogurt and bananas. She won't touch watermelon or regular Cheerios. She has eaten some new food and seems to like a few of them but I can't see giving her ice cream and blueberry pie for every meal.

She had her first doc app't on Monday and it went well. The doc thought she looked good. They gave her four shots, a TB test, and took four vials of blood. She is starting to get braver about walking and I think in several days she will be a walking diva. She loves music and ironically, she loves the pool. I say ironically because she still hates the bathtub and bath time. I've done everything I can think of to get her to enjoy baths including playing Beach Boys tunes and donning a coconut bra. I guess this, like everything else, is going to take some time.

I will end by saying that she has one heck of a cute smile and can melt her dad and me just by flashing it. She really is a cutie and we are so lucky to have her. Sometimes I look at her and wonder how we got so fortunate. I know the "devil days" will be a fond memory in years to come so I am trying to focus on the future and remember that everyday things will get a little better.